Oregon Eden Alternative Home Builds a 'Community of Memory'

August 17, 2011
Kavan Peterson, Editor, ChangingAging.org

People with Alzheimer’s and dementia may be losing mental capacities, but that doesn’t mean — like the rest of us — they shouldn’t have pleasure, attention and fun.

— John Darling, Mail Tribune (Southern Oregon)

The Eden Alternative blog commends reporter John Darling for leading a news story on Eden Alternative registered home Roxy Ann Memory Community with this simple but powerful pro-aging statement.

Darling is a freelance reporter living in Ashland, Ore., and recently visited Roxy Ann in Medford to report on their innovative “memory community” serving elders living with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

That means Roxy Ann provides a community where elders living with dementia “sing, dance, play, paint pictures, make music, garden and, most importantly, have access to animals, children and caring people of all generations, just as you’d have in the regular world,” according to Roxy Ann Administrator Dar Wolber.

“We’re getting away from the old nursing-home model and bringing life back in,” says Wolber. “We have kids helping and playing with the elders. They’re my grandchildren or the children of staff members — and their pets. Studies show that when kids are present, it does a lot for health and well-being of the elders.”

What makes Roxy Ann special is that it’s a family run home started by the Wolbers after their experience helping a family member with Alzheimer’s, Darling reported. Wolber’s wife, Janice, leads dance sessions and Wolber’s daughter, Teresa Oliveri, is a registered nurse and director of health services. Wolber’s son also works there and his grandchildren help out with social tasks, Darling reported.

Please continue reading Community of Memory at the Mail Tribune and share this excellent story on culture change with your friends.

Roxy Ann and Hearthstone Manor, also in Medford, are Oregon’s only Eden-certified homes — But that can be changed! Anyone interested in making a difference in the quality of long-term care of elders can join us for a Certified Eden Associate Training this August 22-24 in Springfield, Ore. Click here for more information or register at www.edenalt.org

Roxy Ann

Halyn Gwaltney, 11, helps an elder with a drawing Thursday at Roxy Ann Memory Community in Medford. Mail Tribune / Julia Moore, Mail Tribune

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1 Comment. Leave new

I love this! Kudos for patting John Darling on the back for his efforts to spread the word…there is a new normal in providing care!

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